Eurovision Debate with Walter Baier (European Left)


European Left’s lead candidate, Walter Baier, participated yesterday in the debate organised by the European Parliament and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) with the rest of lead candidates.

In his first intervention about the economy and poverty, Baier defended that “we need concrete proposals, and housing is a problem across Europe, especially for young people. We want a European directive to put rent caps and forbid evictions”.

After replying to a question from the audience highlighting that EU enlargement cannot be done at the expense of working and social rights, the debate moved towards peace and security. Walter Baier contended that NATO military expenses are already three times more than China and Russia combined, and European NATO countries spend two times more than Russia in military, thus defending the need to invest money in social and ecological transformation. On Ukraine, Baier defended that the European Left wants a safe, sovereign and reconstructed Ukraine with safe borders, asking the rest of the candidates why they rejected the Left’s proposal to cancel Ukraine’s debt. At the end of this topic, European Left’s lead candidate raised the topic of Palestine, considering amazing that nobody mentioned it when talking about peace and security. Repeating the same question of one month ago in the Maastricht Debate, Baier asked directly to Ursula von der Leyen when will the European Union put sanctions on Israel to stop the murdering in Gaza, receiving again a dodging answer.

Afterwards, in different questions, Baier contended that the ecological transition will not be possible under the current austerity policies recently approved by the European institutions. On the far-right and alliances, Baier considered that there can be no compromise with the far right and its agenda, attacking Von der Leyen (EPP) and Gozi (Renew) for their recent alliances with extreme-right parties.

After defending that migration policies should be based on human rights and that communication information should be considered a common, in his spotlight moment Walter presented himself as a child of a working class family in Vienna, and highlighted social inequality, high rents and precarious salaries as one of the main challenges in Europe, and the European Left wants equality and a change in the system.